SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis of the spine. Coloured scintigram of a 68 year old's spine that has been damaged by osteoporosis. Damaged vertebrae are red. The vertebrae have become compacted and fractured. Osteoporosis is characterised by loss of bone density and deterioration of bone tissue, and causes pain and immobility. It is most common in post menopausal women. It may be prevented by a diet rich in calcium, and regular weight-bearing exercise. Prior to a scintigram the patient is injected with a radioactive racer, here technetium-99 that accumulates in the bones. A gamma camera is then used to detect the gamma rays emitted by the tracer.
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